Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Slim Slow Slider

A few days ago, posted an article indicating that the inimitable Van Morrison scheduled in early November two evening concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, where he will perform in its entirety his classic 1968 album Astral Weeks (released November 1968; see below).

Scheduled for November 7 & 8—coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the album’s release—the evening performance will be divided into two halves, the first set comprised of Morrison and band performing songs from throughout his career. The second set—the part that makes these two concerts quite significant—will be a recreation of the Astral Weeks album. Livedaily reports Morrison as saying:

“This is a welcomed opportunity for me to perform these songs the way I originally intended them to be,” Morrison said in a prepared statement. “It’s about the world of creation and of the imagination. That is what a song is: a little movie with melodies and music built around it, poetry in moving pictures in the mind. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, the record companies did not support the music, so I never got to take these songs on tour, and I certainly did not have the money to do it. These songs are as timeless and fresh right now as the day they were written and I am happy about taking them to the Hollywood Bowl.”

Apparently the performances will be recorded, to be released first as a vinyl album on Morrison’s new label, Listen to the Lion Records. If reports are correct, the vinyl LP of the Hollywood Bowl concerts will be released prior to Christmas this year, with a CD version following a couple of weeks later, in January. I envy those who will be there; while I will not, alas, be able to attend, out of curiosity I checked on-line for tickets this morning, and found that many good seats are still available.

One of the greatest records of the 1960s, if not in the history of rock, Astral Weeks is listed as #19 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, the complete list of which is available here; the specific entry on Astral Weeks is available over here. For those who have been following along with my project of listening to all the rock records of 1968 in the order (as best as I can determine) of release, I’ve gone ahead and posted the list for November 1968, in order to put Astral Weeks in its proper context. As it turns out, two albums released that month made Rolling Stone's "Top 500" list--The Beatles' "White Album" is also ranked very high (#10) on the magazine's list as well.

George Harrison, Wonderwall Music 11/1
Van Morrison, Astral Weeks 11/8 [?]
Bonzo Dog Band, The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse
Free, Tons of Sobs
The Incredible String Band, Wee Tam and the Big Huge
The Nice, Ars Longa Vita Brevis
Diana Ross and the Supremes, Love Child 11/13
The Beatles, The Beatles [aka “The White Album”] 11/22
The Beatles, Yellow Submarine
The Kinks, The Village Green Preservation Society 11/22

1 comment:


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Hi Sam,

On behalf of Exile Productions and Exile Publishing, many thanks for plugging Van Morrison and, for your readers’ info, up-to-the-minute news on Van’s latest album - Keep It Simple - and 2008 shows is, of course, available on and and, for a limited period, you can still see Van's exclusive BBC sessions at . We’re also pleased to announce that an increasing archive of exclusive film footage of Van Morrison performances has now been made available for fans on Exile’s official YouTube channel at .

Thanks again for your support.